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Tech News - November 24, 2020

A Guide to Handling Positive and Negative Online Reviews

Reviews are a way of expressing favorable and unfavorable opinions about a business. Some people use them as a chance to express their appreciation for the products and services received. It could also be the other way around where people express frustration by ranting about the experience. Either way, these reviews deserve a response. Companies should take them seriously. Not everyone is patient enough to craft a review, whether it’s good or bad. The least companies can do to respond. The use of a review response service also helps in this regard. These are the best steps to take after getting reviews across different platforms.

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Respond to reviews

Whether it’s a positive or negative review, it’s crucial to respond. For positive reviews, it’s the polite thing to do. It also encourages others to leave good reviews in the future. A positive and engaging conversation could come out after the response, boosting the company’s reputation. If the reviews are negative, it’s also crucial to respond. Understanding the reason behind the negative review could help the company develop better strategies in the future.

Use the business name in the response.

Responding to reviews can be a part of the company’s SEO strategies. Instead of using “we” to refer to the team, the company name should be part of the sentence. It doesn’t take away from the primary thought, but it also helps in optimizing the keyword. Sometimes, reviews and responses can result in long threads that search engines find relevant. However, it only applies to positive reviews. For negative reviews, never mention the company name and keywords since they might appear in future searches.

Never argue with the person who left the review.

Sure, not all reviews are accurate, but professionalism should remain. There’s no point in arguing with others, especially if these people didn’t mean what they said in the first place. Their goal is to create a terrible image for the company. The unprofessional response to these reviews will only reinforce their point. There are ways to prevent negative and inaccurate reviews from spreading without being unprofessional – careful selection of words matters. The tone of the response is also crucial. It’s possible to correct the inaccuracies without sounding unprofessional or harsh. Humor may also be useful if done correctly.

Apologize if necessary 

Apologizing to the person who left the review is an acknowledgment of a mistake. It can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it shows humility. Not all businesses are perfect, and people acknowledge it. Saying sorry is the first step to provide better services. On the other hand, it also admits mistakes, and it might turn people off. Sure, it’s natural to commit mistakes, but there’s no guarantee that others will maintain trust and respect.

The key is to investigate the claims first. If the review is accurate and the problem really happened, it merits an apology. However, if the issues raised didn’t happen, there’s no need to apologize. Instead, the company should issue a clarification to prevent further misinformation.

Provide an opportunity to discuss the matters further

It’s not enough to leave one response to a review. People might think of it as a form of damage control. It’s not a sincere act from the business. If there will be several exchanges, the thread might not look good in the readers’ eyes. The best solution is to move the conversation in private. Provide contact details for people who want to discuss what happened. It’s also a marketing strategy since other readers will know how to contact the company for other matters.

Short responses are good enough.

The account used in responding to reviews is the official account of the company. It’s not a personal account. It doesn’t help to treat the review response like a Facebook thread. A few sentences would suffice. The rule of thumb is only to have three sentences. It contains the initial reaction to the post and the possibility of moving the conversation privately if need be.

Explaining in great detail will bore the readers. It might also make the response sound defensive. Besides, if the goal of the person who left the review is to turn other potential customers off, being defensive doesn’t help.

Customize the response 

Each review is different. When these people went out of their way to leave a review, it means a lot. Customizing the response is the best thing to do. It makes the person feel good. It also establishes a connection between the reviewer and the business. When other people see the exchanges, they will realize that the company cares. Giving enough time to every review means a lot.

However, there’s a fine line between a customized professional response and a personal response. Even if the review is positive, the response should still be professional. Using slang, emojis, and other words usually seen in private conversations aren’t helpful at all.

Take a step further

If the negative review turned out to be correct, offer the customer something else as an apology. It could be a gift card for future transactions. It could also be a freebie from the company. The delivery of the product should also be free. At this point, it’s about damage control. Reviews are powerful, and someone who decided to leave a review to rant about an experience might do the same. Apologizing and taking the extra step would be necessary.

Use reputation management tools.

Reputation management software is becoming more popular. It hastens the process of searching for negative reviews online. There’s no need to go through every post to determine the origin of a negative review. The software can do the job. It also provides a quick response and tracks the progress. This review response service is a tool that all businesses need to have in the future, especially with reviews’ growing power.

Reviews are useful since they’re honest and straight to the point. Companies can improve based on the reviews. It starts by having the best response to what people said. If it’s challenging to keep track, a review response service will always be there as an option.

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